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The Dreaming Cave

Author: 
Anonymous

Ritemaster Iachesis

While you were gone, I have been scrying through my own memories, trying to find the missing events that will remind me where I hid the Heart of Transparent Law.

I believe I have discovered something significant.

Player

You remember where you hid the Heart of Transparent Law?

Ritemaster Iachesis

Not exactly. While scrying through my memories I saw half-formed thoughts and splintered recollections. I saw myself enter the Dreaming Cave beneath Ceporah Tower. And I held the Heart of Transparent Law in my hands.

Player

Tell me everything you remember.

Ritemaster Iachesis

I opened a portal, but I can't recall where it went. Something intentionally blocked the destination from my sight. I entered the portal and time passed. Then I was back in the cave and the Heart was gone.

Will you accompany me to the Dreaming Cave?

Player

I'll meet you in the Dreaming Cave.

Ritemaster Iachesis

The answer to where I hid the Heart of Transparent Law resides in the Dreaming Cave. Or, more precisely, through the portal I opened and once traversed. Therein lies the problem.

It's best if I showed you. Meet me in the cave beneath this tower.

Player

Tell me more about the Dreaming Cave.

Ritemaster Iachesis

The Dreaming Cave lies beneath Ceporah Tower, where the various threads of magicka and other energies come together and pool like water running down a chain.

Trained Psijics can use that energy to open portals to anywhere in Oblivion—and beyond.

Player

So you opened a portal to an Oblivion realm?

Ritemaster Iachesis

Perhaps. I honestly can't remember. If not for the success of my scrying spell, even this minor memory would still elude me.

There's more to explain, but words fail me. I'll show you what I mean when we go down to the Dreaming Cave.

Player

What was that projection you were looking at?

Ritemaster Iachesis

Just the result of my scrying spell. It allowed me to project images from my mind for further study. To look for details my memory alone may have missed.

I watched one particular sequence over and over. The one where I took the Heart into the cave.

Player

That's how you remembered using the Dreaming Cave to hide the Heart?

Ritemaster Iachesis

As I explained, the scrying allowed me to see myself take the Heart into the Dreaming Cave. To watch as I opened a portal and stepped inside. Then the image faltered and skipped a beat. It ended with me back in the cave, but the Heart was gone.

Player

Where's Valsirenn right now?

Ritemaster Iachesis

Valsirenn refuses to leave Leythen's side. She's trying to get him to explain how he could forsake our order and pledge himself to a Daedric Prince.

I hope she can see her way through this. We're going to need her before all is said and done.

Player

What happened between Valsirenn and Leythen?

Ritemaster Iachesis

That's not my tale to tell. They both rose through the ranks of our order together. Fell in love. Had a child. The rest … that's personal.

I still find it difficult to believe that the Leythen I know could betray us.

Player

The player heads outside and down the stairs into the chamber beneath Ceporah Tower, known as the Dreaming Cave. Inside, they see Iachesis casting some sort of spell at a pool of blackness.

Ritemaster Iachesis

Welcome to the Dreaming Cave. Here, we can open paths to other realms.

This particular path is blocked by Daedric magic.

I have an idea, though. Take the Dawnstar gem from your pack and hold it up to the barrier.

Player

The player holds the stone up and a bright light shines from it, temporarily pushing back the blackness.

Ritemaster Iachesis

Just as I surmised. The barrier—it withdraws from the Dawnstar's power.

Dawnbreaker's gem contains a portion of Meridia's power, but on its own it isn't strong enough to dispel this barrier. We need to find the Dawnbreaker sword and make it whole once more.

Player

But the sword and the Golden Knight were pulled into Mephala's realm.

Ritemaster Iachesis

We know that at least one Daedric Prince has attempted to help us against the triad of Vile, Mephala, and Nocturnal.

I think it's time to approach Meridia and solicit her help in this endeavor.

Player

How do we get in contact with a Daedric Prince?

Ritemaster Iachesis

We need to locate a true believer, one of Meridia's cultists. If anyone can direct us toward Daedric activity on Summerset, it's Leythen.

Talk to Leythen. See if you can convince him to help us find one of Meridia's priests.

Player

Why can't we use the Dreaming Cave to contact Meridia?

Ritemaster Iachesis

As we've seen, the triad of Daedric Princes was able to interfere with the Golden Knight's efforts to reach us. If I attempt to use the Dreaming Cave to contact Meridia, chances are they'll notice and stop us. We can't risk tipping our hand just yet.

Player

And that barrier blocks access to the portal anyway, right?

Ritemaster Iachesis

The barrier doesn't block every possible path. Only the one that I saw in my scryed memory, the path that leads to where I hid the Heart of Transparent Law.

As K'Tora's magic continues to fade, I believe my memories will return in time.

Player

What about the other Sea Sloads? Can't the Abyssal Cabal replace K'Tora's magic?

Ritemaster Iachesis

I don't think so. Each member of the cabal possesses a unique talent. K'Tora dealt in mind magic. When you killed him, that magic was lost to the cabal.

No, now we must concern ourselves with the triad of Daedric Princes.

Player

Where can I find Leythen?

Ritemaster Iachesis

Just as you were attuned so you could travel to and from Artaeum, we used the same magic to prevent Leythen from leaving the island. He is free to wander where he will, but he can't leave.

I believe he's outside, talking to Valsirenn.

Player

Do you really think Leythen will help us?

Ritemaster Iachesis

Leythen was a good man. I have to believe he still is, despite pledging his allegiance to Mephala and the Court of Bedlam. Besides, we need to contact Meridia. He's our best chance for getting in touch with one of her priests.

Player

Remind me. What's the triad of Daedric Princes again?

Ritemaster Iachesis

Clavicus Vile, Mephala, and Nocturnal joined forces to threaten Nirn. It appears their ultimate goal is to take control of the Crystal Tower for a reason we haven't yet determined. Leythen is part of the Court of Bedlam, their mortal servants.

Talk to Leythen. See if he'll be willing to provide us with the name of a priest of Meridia we can call upon. If he won't cooperate, perhaps you can goad him into revealing what we need.

Unfortunately, that's the best idea I've got at the moment.

Player

The player heads back outside. They find Leythen and Valsirenn just past a field of wheat, standing on a rocky outcropping looking out into the sea that surrounds the island.

Earl Leythen

I never planned to come back here. The memories are … painful.

Valsirenn

I still can't believe I had to find you and drag you back. Was our time together really so terrible?

Earl Leythen

You still don't understand. Our daughter will never again see this view. Or hold my hand. Or … or … anything.

Player

The player interrupts their conversation to speak to Leythen.

Earl Leythen

I suppose it's too much for a prisoner to expect a few moments of solitude with his thoughts. Ah, well.

So what can I do for you? Has the Ritemaster sent you to interrogate me? Doesn't he trust my wife's talents in that regard?

Player

Is there a Meridia cult on Summerset?

Earl Leythen

What a curious question. Do you actually believe that all Daedric cultists know each other? I hate to disappoint you. We don't.

Although, I can tell you that there are a lot fewer of the Lady of Life's followers now than there were before.

Player

What do you mean by that?

Earl Leythen

The Court of Bedlam has been actively eliminating the competition, as it were. Oh, I wasn't personally involved, but I have it on good authority that the Meridia shrine hidden to the north of Shimmerene has been … disposed of.

Player

The Court of Bedlam killed all of Meridia's followers in Summerset?

Earl Leythen

All? Who can say? I imagine that one or two of them scurried down a dark hole before the blade fell. Like rats, her followers are!

I believe I have said everything I'm going to on this subject. Now shove off.

Player

I guess I could go search around to the north of Shimmerene.

Before the player has a chance to leave, Valsirenn speaks out.

Valsirenn

That sounds like a wild nixad chase. Didn't Razum-dar mention he was investigating Daedric cults on Summerset? Maybe you should go talk to him.

The player speaks to her for further advice.

Razum-dar has been investigating Daedric activity across Summerset. He's your best chance for finding a follower of Meridia, despite what Leythen has intimated.

Player

Do you know where Razum-dar is?

Valsirenn

When last we checked, the Eye of the Queen was in Shimmerene, conducting his own investigation into the Court of Bedlam and other Daedric activity.

If anyone in Summerset can point you to a priest of Meridia, it's Razum-dar.

Player

Before departing for Shimmerene, the player wanted to see if Leythen had anything further to say.

Earl Leythen

Haven't you left yet? Don't you have an island full of Altmer to search?

Good luck with that, by the way. I've always said, the Court of Bedlam is too efficient for its own good. Meridia's lackeys were probably wiped out to the last cultist.

Player

Why would the Court of Bedlam destroy a shrine to Meridia?

Earl Leythen

Let me let you in on a secret. Just between us, you understand.

My Prince Mephala and her partners in the triad have no use for the other Daedric Princes. They've declared war and have already started eliminating their rivals' mortal followers.

Player

Tell me more about this war between the Daedric Princes.

Earl Leythen

Were the words I used too complicated for you to understand? War. As in death and destruction, winners and losers.

Mephala, Nocturnal, and Vile plan to win. The other Princes? Most of them don't even realize they're under assault as of yet.

Player

Why are you telling me this?

Earl Leythen

Because you asked?

Seriously, what does it hurt to tell you about things you can't possibly influence? You and your Psijic friends are nothing when compared to the majesty of Mephala and her Daedric partners.

Player

What happened to your daughter?

Earl Leythen

Never mention my daughter again, you insignificant dolt!

Ealdaawe was perfect in every way. She was my sun and moons, and the best thing I ever created. Don't you dare sully her memory with your inane questions!

Player

I heard that you and the Ritemaster were friends.

Earl Leythen

Friends? I suppose we were. He's a good leader and an excellent teacher.

If I have one regret about turning my back on the Order it's that I had to break my oath to Iachesis.

Player

What about your oath to Valsirenn?

Earl Leythen

You pry into subjects best left alone, stranger. I don't know you. You don't know me. I don't see that fact changing, do you?

Now get out of my sight before I really forget my manners.

Player

Razum-dar really was the best lead, so the player headed for Shimmerene. Shortly after entering the city, they a guard talking about Raz. Rounding the corner, they saw two guards standing near a crudely drawn skeever head.

Bailiff Fanyeor

If the Queen's Eye wants to chase his own tail by following skeever scribblings, fine by me. Anything to keep him out of our business.

Player

The player approached and spoke to one of the guards, who wasn't very helpful.

Bailiff Roland

Come to admire the art, newcomer? If I find out this was your handiwork, sequestering will be the least of your problems.

Bailiff Fanyeor

Step away from that scribble, newcomer!

Bailiff Roland

Take a breath, bailiff. It's just a scribble, not one of Razum-dar's conspiracies.

The player chose to speak to this guard instead, as he seemed much more reasonable.

Only one of the lesser races would deface a beautiful wall like that. I mean no disrespect, but my statement rings true.

Razum-dar claims the scribble contains a message of some sort, but I just don't see it.

Player

Do you know where I can find Razum-dar?

Bailiff Roland

Hmm. The cat mentioned he was working with a newcomer. But if you ask me about Daedra, I'll toss you down a pit!

As I told Razum-dar, Summerset banished Daedric cults centuries ago. Our biggest problem right now concerns these wall scribblers.

Player

I'll pay for someone to clean this up if you tell me where to find Raz.

The player hands the guard some gold pieces.

Bailiff Roland

Is this a bribe? You know what, just give it here.

The cat thinks the scribbles lead somewhere. "Follow the nose," those were his last words before he darted off. At least, I think that's what he said.

Player

Do you know where I can find Razum-dar or not?

Bailiff Roland

Do I look like a Khajiit keeper to you? He said something about the scribbles. I'm just glad Razum-dar is far away and not bothering me.

You, on the other hand, are way too close. Move along or face the wrath of the Divine Prosecution!

(Only available if the player is an Altmer)

Player

I understand how you feel. That Khajiit doesn't know his place.

Bailiff Roland

I knew you were a true Altmer. You have that look about you.

Raz thinks the scribbles lead to something. "Follow the nose," he said before he darted off. Isn't it just like a cat to chase a skeever?"

Bailiff Roland

It's a scribble on a wall! This is so beneath my duties as a Divine Prosecution bailiff.

Player

Looking at the graffiti, the player noticed that the skeever's nose was pointing down and to the left, so they went off in that direction. After jumping in a cistern and running through an alley, they found more skeever graffiti and followed its nose, too. Eventually, after traversing much of Shimmerene, they found themselves in a small plaza where Raz was questioning a couple of dirty men.

Razum-dar

Raz doesn't care who you worship! He just wants to know if your cult was attacked recently.

Filbert Cienne

Peryite would welcome you! Our Prince accepts all kinds. And you'd be our first Khajiit!

Marthine

You'd be our first anything, actually.

The player ignored the fellows and spoke to Raz.

Razum-dar

Five-claw! You have the happy ability to know where to find Raz when Raz has need of you!

Getting information out of these Peryite idiots is like squeezing milk from a stone. This is why Raz hates dealing with Daedric cults!

Player

Raz, in your investigation into the cults, did you happen to find one devoted to Meridia?

Razum-dar

Interesting question. Raz has learned that the Court of Bedlam has been attacking the cults of other Princes, including those devoted to Meridia and Azura.

Now, usually if crazy cultists kill each other it's good for Summerset, but this feels wrong.

Player

I need to talk to a priest of Meridia.

Razum-dar

You do? Well, Raz trusts you, so I can tell you about an old friend who attends Meridia ceremonies in the Eton Nir Grotto. Raz doesn't approve, but it's her life, yes?

This one will make contact and meet you outside Eton Nir.

Player

I'll meet you there.

Razum-dar

Raz was planning to head up north to Eton Nir after talking to these Peryite imbeciles anyway. To check on his old friend.

The Court of Bedlam's attacks on the other cults were particularly vicious, and this one worries so.

Player

The Psijics captured a Mephala cultist. He says the Princes are at war.

Razum-dar

War? That would explain the attacks. Raz isn't an expert on Daedric cults, but this doesn't sound like their usual behavior. This one thought they just sort of left each other alone.

Player

The Court of Bedlam might have wiped out Meridia's cult with its attack.

Razum-dar

That's a terrible thing to say! No, Raz refuses to believe it. Raz's friend is a survivor. She's got to be all right.

This one will go and make contact. Make sure she's fine. Then we'll meet you outside Eton Nir.

Player

Before I go, have you learned anything else about the Court of Bedlam?

Razum-dar

Raz hears things. He heard about the attacks on the rival cults. He heard that the Court consists of followers of three different Princes. And he heard that even though High Elves constitute the majority of the Court's members, there is one Dark Elf.

Player

One Dark Elf? Is that significant?

Razum-dar

A single Dark Elf among a group of High Elves? Seems significant to Raz. Besides, everyone seems to fear her, but this one could not dig up any details.

We should keep an eye out for this Dark Elf, yes?

Player

Before heading off to meet Raz at Eton-Nir, the player wanted to speak with the two Peryite cultists.

Filbert Cienne

Look Marthine! The sacred scribbles of Peryite have brought another aspirant to our holy fire!

Would you like to hear about Peryite? He may be the Prince of plague and pestilence, but let me explain how that's a lot better than it sounds.

Player

You scribbled those skeevers on the walls to recruit worshipers for a Daedric Prince?

Filbert Cienne

What better way to find true believers? Since Daedric worship is against the law, only the truly faithful would know that a skeever is one of Peryite's sacred symbols!

Well, that and the dragon, but I've never seen one of those.

Player

Aren't you worried about the Divine Prosecution?

Filbert Cienne

Those gloried constables? Why would I be worried about them? I don't think any of them care about the wonders of Peryite or the mysteries of the divine skeever.

Unless … perhaps a judiciously placed pamphlet or two is in order!

Player

Are you familiar with the Court of Bedlam?

Filbert Cienne

The Court of what now? Is that a High Elf thing? They really are fond of their rules and regulations. And their courts. Lots of courts.

That's the great thing about Peryite—there aren't any rules! Well, at least none that anybody cares about.

Player

How do I join your Peryite cult?

Filbert Cienne

You want to join? Well, this is embarrassing. We didn't expect anyone to accept the word of Peryite, at least not this quickly. We haven't figured out the specifics yet. Dues, uniforms, rituals. Things like that.

Could you come back later? Thanks!

Marthine

I told Filbert this was a mistake. Peryite protects us, but trying to proselytize on an island where Daedra worship is frowned upon was never a good idea in the first place.

Player

With nothing more to learn, the player headed to the north of Summerset. They met up with Razum-dar and his friend near the foot of Eton-nir.

Razum-dar

Over here, five-claw! This is Raz's old friend, Sadara-do. She follows Meridia, but do not hold that against her.

Sadara-do

May Meridia's light shine upon you. Raz told me you need to contact my Prince.

With the recent attacks, however, I need to ask you what your interest in Meridia happens to be.

Player

We need Meridia's help to recover and repair the Dawnbreaker sword.

Sadara-do

Meridia's sword of light? I'm not sure I understand. Even if I wanted to help you, my efforts would probably be in vain. My Prince doesn't speak to just any mortal. The leader of our sect had Meridia's ear, but he was caught in a recent attack.

(If the player has not previously completed the ESO main quest)

Player

Please, we need to try to make contact.

Sadara-do

Your need must be great to come ask such a favor. The path to Meridia's shrine won't be easy to navigate, however. Mephala and Nocturnal's followers massacred my brothers and sisters. They left vile Daedra behind to defile our sanctum.

(If the player has already completed the ESO main quest)

Player

Meridia aided me in the past. She'll remember me.

Sadara-do

My Prince blessed you with her presence? That's a story I'd love to hear some time.

For now, I'll do my best to help you. But the path to the shrine will be hazardous. Mephala's creatures still roam the area, feasting on my brothers and sisters."

Player

Tell me how to reach the shrine.

Sadara-do

Enter the grotto and look for our camp. Meridia's shrine looms over the area.

Raz will accompany me and we'll enter via a side tunnel. I don't want you to have to worry about me while you're defending yourself against those creatures.

Player

I will meet you at Meridia's shrine.

Razum-dar

Raz thinks this is a bad idea, Sadara.

Sadara-do

I want to help, Raz. Maybe this is the reason Meridia allowed me to escape when the rest of my sect was attacked.

Player

Before heading inside, the player speaks with the two of them again.

Sadara-do

You'll find the shrine toward the back of the grotto. Meridia spreads life and light, but I hope you kill a few of those terrible creatures along the way.

We'll sneak around and meet you at the shrine. As long as Raz is with me, I should be safe.

Razum-dar

This one deals with all kinds of problems for Queen Ayrenn, but this makes Raz's fur stand on end. Outlawed cults and Daedric Princes. How did Raz get his claws stuck in this particular ball of yarn?

Player

The player enters Eton-nir Grotto from the front, while Razum-dar and Sadara-do go around the back. After fighting off various Daedra, the three of them meet up in a large cavern which houses the destroyed camp of the Meridia worshipers as well as the facade of an underground temple.

Sadara-do

This way. We're almost there.

Razum-dar

Raz is not fond of Daedric cultists, but no one deserves to die like this.

Sadara-do

The Court of Bedlam are cowards! They struck us down without warning.

I will try my best to get your friend an audience with the Lady of Light. The shrine is just inside.

Player

The three of them enter the doors to the shrine. Inside they find a large chapel hall, complete with pews, and a statue to Meridia on the far side. Dead cultists are scattered about, but no Daedra are inside. One cultist is impaled on the statue itself.

Sadara-do

Oh, master! What did those bastards do to you?

Look what they did to his body. They defiled Meridia's shrine!

Razum-dar

That light … that is not natural, yes?

Sadara-do

Meridia, she calls to us!

Meridia

My devoted priest, a loyal soldier, and an intrepid instigator … step closer and bask in Meridia's light!

Razum-dar

Why is the statue talking to Raz? Should it be doing such a thing?

Player

The player approaches the glowing statue and listens to what the Daedra has to say.

(If the player has not previously completed the ESO main quest)

Meridia

My followers murdered. My shrine desecrated. The other Princes, this so-called triad, they must answer for these insults.

But I sense a question in your mind. Speak, mortal! Ask what you will of the Prince of Light!

(If the player has already completed the ESO main quest)

 

Meridia

My followers murdered. My shrine desecrated. The other Princes, this so-called triad, they must answer for these insults.

But I sense a question in your mind. Speak, Champion of Coldharbour! Ask what you will of the Prince of the Light!

Player

Your Golden Knight was captured and his sword damaged. We seek your guidance on how to repair it.

Meridia

They dare to steal my vessel? To hold prisoner the agent I put in place to foil their despicable plans?

My light shall not be snuffed out! My Colored Rooms will not be compromised! You must set Darien Gautier free!

(If the player has not previously completed the ESO main quest)

Player

Darien? That's the Golden Knight's name?

Meridia

My vessel thinks of itself as Darien Gautier, a simple Breton warrior, but in reality, it is my will and my power. When a darkness enters your reality, I send Darien to banish it.

You must enter Mephala's realm and rescue Darien, the Golden Knight.

Player

What about the Dawnbreaker? Can it be repaired?

Meridia

Only my vessel can repair the Dawnbreaker. Use the Dawnstar Gem to locate Darien within the Spiral Skein.

(If the player has already completed the ESO main quest)

 

Player

Darien Gautier from Coldharbour? He's your vessel?

Meridia

My vessel just thinks of itself as the mortal Darien Gautier. In reality, Darien is my will and power, inserted into your reality whenever my light needs to banish the darkness.

I will admit my knight changed after it met you, though.

Player

What do you mean, Darien changed?

Meridia

The knight had a single purpose, but somehow you complicated matters. Now the knight actually… cares.

You and my vessel will both be required to stop the triad. You must enter Mephala's realm and rescue Darien.

Player

I retrieved the Dawnstar gem. Can it be used to reforge Dawnbreaker?

Meridia

The gem cannot grow a new sword, but I can add to its power. Now you can use it to locate Darien in Mephala's realm.

Meridia

Now return to the Ritemaster and tell him what I said.

Wait. How dare they! The triad dares to invade my sacred realm? This cannot stand!

Player

The triad's attacking your realm?

Suddenly, Meridia's light is cut out. Instead, the statue is enveloped in a purple glow and begins to bleed black liquid from its eyes.

Sadara-do

Meridia, my Prince! She's gone! I can't feel her presence any longer!

Razum-dar

Raz is certain that the nice statue will be fine. In the meantime, let this one take you someplace where you will be safe.

Player

Before departing for Artaeum, the player checks in on Sadara-do, who is crying on her knees near the statue, and with Raz, who is looking over her.

Sadara-do

Our shrine desecrated, my Prince under attack ... how can such things be allowed to happen?

Still, Meridia spoke to you. Go find the Golden Knight and restore Dawnbreaker. They may be our only hope.

Razum-dar

Raz has seen many things. Weresharks. Flying tigers. Weresharks on top of flying tigers. But a talking light? Queen Ayrenn will never believe it!

How much trouble are we in, five-claw? Be honest with old Raz.

Player

A lot. The Daedric triad wants the Crystal Tower and they're attacking the other Princes.

Razum-dar

Too much honesty is never a good thing!

How do we battle Daedric Princes? Raz supposes an army would help. An army always helps. Alas, Raz rarely has an army to call upon when he needs one most.

Player

The Ritemaster will think of something. We just have to find Darien and repair the sword.

Razum-dar

And that involves traveling to places Raz never knew existed before this all started. No, Raz will see Sadara to safety and then do what he can to protect Summerset and the Crystal Tower.

The Daedra fighting Raz will leave to you, yes?

Player

With the two Khajiit safe for now, the player headed back to Artaeum to tell the Ritemaster about what happened. They find the Ritemaster and Valsirenn discussing the situation in the Dreaming Cave.

Ritemaster Iachesis

I see signs of the Court's work throughout Summerset, but nothing of the Court itself.

Valsirenn

I think the Court of Bedlam has fewer members than we imagined.

Ritemaster Iachesis

Enough of this for now. Let's see what our friend has learned.

You return, but without the Dawnbreaker. Weren't you able to make contact with Meridia?

Forgive my impatience. This inability to remember has me on edge. Go on, tell me what you learned.

Player

The Court attacked the cults of Azura and Meridia, but I was able to speak to Meridia.

Ritemaster Iachesis

The Court of Bedlam is eliminating the cults of the other Princes? To what end?

You said you were able to make contact with Meridia? Then why didn't she give you a restored Dawnbreaker?

Player

We can use the Dawnstar gem to find the Golden Knight. He can restore the Dawnbreaker.

Ritemaster Iachesis

I suspected that might be the case. I'll send Valsirenn with you into Mephala's realm to rescue the Golden Knight.

Player

Meridia said her realm was being invaded. I think the triad of Princes attacked Meridia.

Ritemaster Iachesis

A disturbing development to be sure, but we'll have to hope Meridia can protect herself.

I'll open a portal to Mephala's Spiral Skein when you're ready. Then you can use the gem to find the Golden Knight.

Player

I'm ready.

The Ritemaster casts a spell and a portal opens in the floor.

Valsirenn

Mephala's realm can be daunting, but I'll be with you the entire time.

Ritemaster Iachesis

Remember to stay focused on your destination at all times. Otherwise you could get lost in myriad pathways of the Dreaming Cave.

And whatever you do, don't lose that gem.

Player

Both Valsirenn and the player step into the portal. A moment later, the player finds themselves in a web-covered cave, with Valsirenn nowhere in sight. They proceed forward, fighting Daedra and burning webbing, until they enter a large chamber and hear the Psijic's voice.

Valsirenn

There you are! I'm up here!

Try to find a way up while I take a look around.

As the player fights through the caves towards Valsirenn, they can hear her calling out as she explores.

It's like a maze in here, full of dead ends and passages that lead nowhere.

As the player hits a dead end, she has a suggestion:

Try to use the Dawnstar gem. Maybe it will reveal a path we're not seeing.

The player does so, and the gem opens up a whirlpool that leads to another part of the caverns. As they go deeper they again hear Valsirenn:

I think there's something stalking me in here. Oh no!

Player

The player fights deeper into the dungeon, eventually encountering a powerful Daedra guarding a webbed humanoid form. They defeat the Daedra and cut the webbing to reveal Valsirenn.

Valsirenn

I couldn't breathe! As usual, you found me just in the nick of time.

The beast that captured me. I've never seen anything like it!

Player

Are you all right?

Valsirenn

A little light headed, but I'll be fine. Now that we're together, we can focus on finding the Golden Knight. And if that beast shows its mandibles again, I'll be ready.

Player

What kind of beast attacked you?

Valsirenn

Something with the body of a giant spider and … well, I'm not sure how to describe it. But it was a creature right out of my nightmares. Just what you'd expect in the realm of a Daedric Prince.

No matter. Let's go find the Golden Knight.

Player

Together, the two of them proceed through the caverns. The player uses the Dawnstar Gem to open up whirlpool portals in the water and transport them between different sections.

Valsirenn

That's the path revealed by the Dawnstar gem? What I wouldn't give to be able to use portal magic in here!

That wasn't a pleasant experience.

We just need to push on and find the Golden Knight. The faster we can get out of here, the better.

If I never see a giant spider again, it will be too soon.

That light in the distance. It's brighter, out of place in this dismal setting. That must be the Golden Knight!

Mephala won't leave something as valuable as Meridia's Golden Knight unprotected.

Player

The two of them fight past hordes of Daedra and reach the light. There, they see Darien trapped in webs, guarded by two Ogrim and a special Spiderkith.

Zikal-zun

Silence or my webs will fill your pretty mouth next!

Darien Gautier

You’re about to regret this.

It's a tough fight, but the Daedra are defeated and the player cuts Darien down from the webbing.

Took you long enough. I expected this rescue hours ago.

Valsirenn

Your gratitude has a hollow ring, knight.

Player

Oh, I can be very grateful, my lady.

Valsirenn

Maybe we should just leave him. I'm sure the Ritemaster would understand.

This is Meridia's champion? He's not as impressive as I imagined.

Player

The player speaks with Darien.

(If the player has previously met Darien)

Darien Gautier

Well, this is awkward. You're probably wondering how your old friend Darien became Meridia's champion and got stuck in all this sticky webbing. It's a funny story, really.

Probably better if I wait to tell it until after we escape from this realm.

(If the player has not previously met Darien)

 

Darien Gautier

Well, this is awkward. Here I am, Meridia's champion, covered in webs and held at the mercy of unsettling spider people. Thanks for rescuing me, though.

I would have freed myself at some point. I was just working up to it, that's all.

Player

You're the Golden Knight? The same one that's been trying to contact us?

Darien Gautier

Guilty as charged! Meridia sent me to offer my assistance, but those other Princes, they kept interfering. And then I was dragged into this pit of spider harlots!

Look, we can catch up on things later. Right now we need to get outta here.

Player

You're right. Let's get out of here.

Darien Gautier

There's one small problem. We can't just walk through a door to get back to Tamriel. Believe me, I tried!

How did you find me, by the way? Mephala specifically said she was putting me someplace where no one would ever think to look.

Player

I retrieved the Dawnstar gem when you dropped it. It led me right to you.

Darien Gautier

Oh. Right. The gem. That makes sense. I perfectly understand. You need Meridia's champion so here I am. And with the gem, I can repair Dawnbreaker!

Just so you know, I feel awful. I am in no condition to fight at the moment.

Player

Stay close. I'll get you out of here.

Valsirenn

Let's get out of here. Meet me outside.

I can open a portal to the Dreaming Cave, but the ritual will take time and will more than likely draw Mephala's Daedra.

You need to hold them off until I can find the way back home.

Player

I'll keep the Daedra busy until you complete the ritual.

Valsirenn

I won't be able to assist you while I'm casting, and the Golden Knight doesn't appear to be in any condition to fight.

I'm afraid you're on your own, my friend.

She begins casting her spell, and various Daedra start flocking to the area. The player defeats them all. Just before the spell is concluded, a large unique spider Daedra appears.

Let my voice penetrate the barriers between here and the Dreaming Cave!

Keep them back a few moments longer!

I can sense the portal opening. Just—by the stars! That spider thing!

The player defeats the Daedra and Valsirenn finishes casting her spell.

The portal has opened! Let's get out of here!

The three of them step through the portal and find themselves back on Artaeum.

Ritemaster Iachesis

Valsirenn, take the knight to the healers. We'll deal with the sword later. In the meantime, I need to speak with our friend.

You and Valsirenn entered Mephala's realm and rescued Meridia's Golden Knight. I couldn't ask for more, my friend.

I assume Darien believes he can repair the Dawnbreaker?

Player

Darien said he could repair the Dawnbreaker sword.

Ritemaster Iachesis

I hoped that would be the case. The Golden Knight will need to recover some of his strength first, though. Who knows what tortures Mephala and her creatures inflicted upon him? That's not a fate I'd wish on my worst enemy.

Player

What do the three Daedric Princes hope to accomplish?

Ritemaster Iachesis

Who can say what drives such beings as these? To work with the Sea Sload. To pit their followers against the cultists of other Princes. To launch attacks into rival Oblivion realms. Such actions boggle the mind.

Player

How long before we can attempt to breach the barrier?

Ritemaster Iachesis

Knight Darien needs to recover his strength first and restore the Dawnbreaker. Then we can attempt to unblock the path and see where I took the Heart of Transparent Law.

For now, take this with my thanks.